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Company Incorporation

The idea of outsourcing the company secretary service role is now increasing in popularity not only in Singapore but also all over the world.  Outsourcing of company secretarial role is already sought after by all types of companies such as private and listed companies, small and large companies alike as well as medium and small-sized enterprises and even start-ups. Although outsourcing is actually accompanied with many good reasons, before only a few companies accepted the idea since they were more comfortable dealing with an in-house corporate secretary. They especially considered  that hiring a corporate secretary this way would give them more chances of controlling the position and not only that but also they wanted an accessible, accountable and reliable company secretary, and the answer to this would be for them to hire an in-house secretary.

Today, there have been changes and outsourcing the company secretary service is highly-sought after by many companies now. This has been the result of the outstanding benefits the companies can obtain from outsourcing. Also, the number of reputable outsourcing companies is increasing and this has created a competition among such companies, thus resulting in competitive pricing. Outsourcing was once considered as costly by many companies but that was at the time when they did not see its benefits over hiring a corporate secretary in-house. However, now that the advantages of outsourcing are seen by these companies and because of the competitive pricing attached to outsourcing, such companies are now convinced of taking advantage of it. They are now willing to entrust the significant company secretarial role to what is considered as the third-party company and beginning to see that outsourcing also ensures company compliance.

The advantages of outsourcing the company secretary service position are never underestimated in the sense that:

  • Such advantages can greatly contribute to the effectiveness and efficiency of the daily operations of the company and would lead to the company’s growth as a whole.
  • The company saves in areas concerning life, disability insurance and health as well as in matters regarding office space and equipment such as fax machines, copiers, computers, etc. since the outsourcing company already provides these.
  • The company can use the amount of money saved on improving the business development and infrastructure.
  • The company can benefit from the extensive experience and knowledge of skilled individuals who possess a high level of training in company secretary service.
  • The company is saved from the costs of training since the screening of the qualified team is part of the outsourcing company’s responsibilities.
  • The company is assured that all the secretarial functions and company requirements are performed on time as well as submitted to the appropriate authorities.
  • Based on its specific requirements, the company may also avail of the other services tailored for it and offered by the outsourcing company.

Based on the advantages mentioned above, the beauty in outsourcing the company secretary service lies in the fact that it will give you a much greater opportunity and more time to focus strongly on what’s more important and what needs more attention in your company, thus resulting in more progress and further expansion of your company.

Opposite to what was thought of by many companies before, outsourcing the secretarial position can actually place your company on a better and more progressive stance. Most outsourcing companies are committed to performing the duties of the company secretary solely, thus they are able to perform such duties effectively, efficiently and in a timely manner, and this gives security and assurance on the part of the companies hiring their services. This also gives the company more assurance since they are given the idea that the outsourcing companies can always address their needs.

The duties and responsibilities of a company secretary are very crucial to the company’s existence. He is especially expected to perform all secretarial functions well from record keeping to acting as an executive assistant and communications officer. Only a highly skilled and exceptional company secretary can perform all important tasks with efficiency, thus the presence of this position in every registered company is especially required by the law in Singapore. Hence, the benefits of outsourcing the company secretarial role far outweigh the benefits of hiring a company secretary in-house that the demand for it has been increasing and is expected to rise further in the future.

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Should I register a LLP or a PTE LTD? This is possibly one of the most common topics that comes up when applicants wishes to register a company in Singapore. The first thing you have to do is to understand the difference between these two business entities. Limited Liability Partnership or LLP for short, allows business owners to have the adaptability of conducting as a partnership while having a separated legal identity like PTE LTD. Speaking of Private Limited, it is a company limited by shares. Without further ado, let us now take a closer look at these two business entities shall we?

The two main differences between these two business vehicles are:  taxation and legal liability.

In the case of PTE LTD, the business owner gets taxed when they receive dividends or sell their shares at a profit. In a way, this means that the minute the income has been taxed at the allied level; dividends can be allocated to shareholders tax free. On the other hand, LLP is not a legal tax entity. This implies that each partner should pay for his or her specific amount of money that they had made through the partnership. Hence, there are no corporate tax benefits. If you’re planning to register a company in Singapore, this is one of the many points to take note of.

When it comes to legal liability, there is a something common between these two business vehicles. For one thing, both PTE LTD and LLP are limited. PTE LTD carries liability. When a Pte Ltd gets sued, it’s the company that’s getting charged – not the owners. In such a way, the owners are liable as the business belongs to them. Therefore, the owners can lose just as much. In a nut shell: sue or be sued in its own name. Similarly, LLP has a separate legal identity. Likewise, it can sue or be sued in its own name.

So here’s the tough question again: if I were to register a company in Singapore, should I choose PTE LTD or LLP? To put it simply, it heavily depends on your business structure. For instance, if you’re a lawyer and you’re planning to set up your own firm, it would highly recommend for you to pick LLP. This would even work if you’re intending to have one or more additional partners. In addition, if your partner decides to resign any changes in the LLP does not affect its liabilities. One of the several positive aspects of LLP is the ease of acquiescence.  It is much simpler than PTE LTD. But that’s not to say that PTE LTD is generally a rough choice. For one thing, PTE LTD holds a much more reliable visual appeal.

Most importantly, think carefully. Be sure of your goals: what you want to achieve, are you the only boss who’s operating this business etc…  There are many elements involved for a successful business. In conclusion, depending on the type of your business structure, you have to keep in mind these necessary factors to focus on your company. After all, all these points are the key factors for a profitable career. We all know that starting a business in Singapore is no easy task. It somehow feels that you have another mouth to feed at home. It is very time-consuming and takes a lot of effort. Just like what Walt Disney mentioned, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Everyone has to start from scratch. Once you’re ready, you will be prepared for a new adventure.

Just like choosing an ideal name for your company, finding the type of business entity for your new business is equally daunting. Which brings us to the next point; it is extremely vital for entrepreneurs to take note of their decision. When starting a business in Singapore, you might want to note the different business entities available in this country. The activity of a business is detached from the personal activities of the owner and of course the employees. This concept applies to all businesses regardless of their legal statuses. To put it simply, any transaction that connects to the business is recorded accordingly.

There are mainly seven business entities in Singapore: Public Limited Company, Public Company Limited by Guarantee, Limited Partnership, General Partnership, and the three most common, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), Private Limited Company and Sole Proprietorship.

Sole Proprietorship is generally for entrepreneurs with small scale businesses. This type of business entity is considered to be the simplest arrangement as it is the most basic form of the business structure. Since it is formed with only one individual, the owner of the business is entirely accountable for his/her business activities.

Possibly the most popular business entity, Private Limited Company is applicable for almost all professions and trades. Unlike Sole Proprietorship, entrepreneurs who choose Private Limited Company get to have certain perks like tax benefits though this only applies to corporate entities. One of the many reasons why entrepreneurs pick Private Limited Company is because it’s more secure. This business entity supports reliability, which is a key factor if you were to start a business in Singapore.

Are you an architect like the fictional character Ted Mosby? Planning to start your own firm? In that case, Limited Liability Partnership is probably for you. While the compliance requirements are more perplexing than Sole Proprietorship, it is easier than Private Limited Company. One of the pros in choosing this business entity is that it has a separate legal identity. However, it is a requirement to have a minimum of two partners for this business vehicle.

Other less common business entities like General Partnership is formed by two to twenty partners. This is an alliance where both business partners share equally in terms of responsibility and liability.

Next up, Limited Partnership is formed with a minimum of two partners, with at least one general partner and at least one limited partner.  A general partner holds account for the actions and is responsible for all debts of the Limited Partnership. If the limited partner does not participate in the Limited Partnership, he/she is not liable for the obligations of the Limited Partnership.

Public Limited Company is exactly what its name suggests. It is suitable for listed companies with fifty or more shareholders. It is a requirement for the company to register a prospectus with the Monetary Authority of Singapore before making any public offers of shares and debentures.

Last but not the least, Public Company Limited by Guarantee is a business structure which have some basis of national or public interest. This business entity is basically used for charities as it fulfils non-profit activities.

So if you were to start a business in Singapore, be sure to familiarise yourself with the various types of business entities available in our sunny island. Entrepreneurs who have strong ideas about their businesses and with willingness to understand the business world would have a lot of potential for a successful career. After you’ve pooled your expertise, it is time making difference and meeting expectations. Just remember: anything is possible if you reach for the stars.

Asia is one of the continents that have been identified to experience the global economic retrogression in the Asian development. China has been a country that has really made it up to globalization. Two years ago, the European Union and United States have not had any globalization and thus the business investments are seen more in Asia.

Singapore and Hong Kong are the major cities that can host firms for people seeking intensification.  With the government’s lucidity and effectiveness, Singapore has an ideal setting for incorporation. On the other hand, Hong Kong because of its financial stability and encouraging tax policy it can boost the rising China’s markets.

It is extremely secure, swift and economical to have companies in Singapore and Hong Kong. For instance, Singapore, in terms of business has been at the top of World Bank’s ranking in doing business for the past 24 months. Singapore is the fourth best in levy paying and starting of new businesses moreover the best in trading across boundaries. Overseas investments and firms are major contributors to the economy of Singapore. Lately, foreign companies have contributed so much of the Gross Domestic Products and the rise of the same is being experienced up to now. The presence of foreign companies has not triggered any alarm for the government to come up with any limits. With this trend, Singapore will for a long time remain a leading jurisdiction business centre.

Hong Kong in doing business is the easiest and positioned top 3 in; protecting investors, paying taxes and top 5 in starting businesses.  The two cities in terms of company registration are popular and still are the leading ones. Hong Kong has been a heart for many choice centres for doing business since 2011. In the recent past the electronic services for registering businesses was introduced and this has eased everything. Hong Kong has worked as an important link for the investors who operate with other regions like including Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

When you hear someone say they are planning to set up an offshore company, all it means is that that business owner is planning to set his business operations in an overseas setting. And if there’s one misconception about offshore companies, it’s that it is a business venture only well-off firms and corporations can afford. People perceive this as something not any business can easily undertake. But in the current globalization, setting up one’s company abroad has become more affordable for most business—not to mention the fact that it has become safer and easier to do. You can even do it without having to leave the comforts of your own home and be confined by the jurisdictions in the location where you’ll set up shop. You can have your business up and running in just a matter of few days. And with the changing world of business now, what with the increasing rate of risks and unstable business costs, setting up overseas may actually be more of a necessity nowadays, rather than just a business option.

The incorporation of offshore companies has actually been gaining a very unfair misconception and negative reputation in recent business news. When one says that the business is planning to setup an offshore operation, they tend to associate this undertaking as a way of tax evasion, as well as money laundering. Although there have been some instances of illegal business transactions from offshore companies, it does not necessarily mean that offshore businesses are illegitimate. In actuality, this business venture is absolutely legal and is a very legitimate strategy. In today’s very competitive business market, it is but natural that companies seek for strategies that will make them more efficient in terms of costs like tax payments. Different jurisdictions actually have varied tax policies so there are a lot of options to choose from for offshores. Some jurisdictions offer very attractive rates for income tax or on dividends, like in the British Virgin Islands, who has been considered as a tax haven, as well as Labuan. They have very favorable and attractive tax policies.

But if you look at it at a wider scope, the benefits that can be reaped from offshore businesses surpass taxation. It has definitely more advantages to offer, just like gaining a very favorable regulation from authorities overseas. This is a very good advantage, most especially for companies seeking to reduce risks and costs that are usually associated with government institutions. Because of the financial crisis in the global economy, markets across the world have increased their policies for foreign companies.

And so, in this situation, the offshore financial institutions become the perfect savior for companies limited by such regulations. They do this by using deregulated markets in investing financial products that can better manage an offshore company’s risk. This allows the offshore company to improve their revenue stream. When an offshore company opens, new markets start to open as well.

As the West market starts to saturate, it is a very good business strategy to open an offshore operation in the likes of world-class business environments, such as Singapore and Hong Kong. The jurisdictions in these markets allow businesses to expand their reach in the Asian markets. Because of these advantages, offshore financial centers have actually transformed into the most favored method of investment for those wanting to set up in emerging markets.

Here are some more advantages of offshore: increased privacy for company resources, protection of assets, lower investments, as well as lower costs of labor. In today’s world of business, it is no longer important to ponder on the decision whether one should set up an offshore company overseas, but actually, what’s important is to ponder on when and which jurisdiction should one start with?

 

 

Not everyone is informed of how offshore companies go about. You may be hesitant to go into this kind of business because it may sound very costly. You may have difficulties of deciding where and how to start with processing your offshore company. It is like a do-it-your-self process for small businesses and for large ones, it is the reliability of the outsourced advisor-seeking aspect they are most concern about.

Discussed below are some guidelines for you to be familiar with. If not you can go to many websites of service providers in Singapore that provide such services to find out more. These would be of help in your venture in the offshore company world. Here are a few steps that would guide you.

Familiarize yourself with these advantages of having an offshore company. You can seek some useful tax advisory here.

> With offshore banking, you would always have privacy in dealing with your finances.

>You can avoid dealing with excessive taxes, unwanted lawsuits and useless claims.

>You can be known internationally, thus increasing profits.

>You can avail of a dual citizenship with legal papers that would help you in future needs.

There should always be an independent advisor to establish a strong and reliable plan for your offshore business. Your advisor would help you through the process and point out the most important documents that need to be submitted. Very important papers should be prepared like your personal bank account, an offshore insurance company, a business account for your establishment, an investment fund, a secondary citizenship that includes a passport and a virtual office. Your advisor would also help you decide on which jurisdiction you would like to establish your proposed business.

A financial institution of your choice should also be in your list of priorities. This is important because familiarizing required documents and procedures would help you save time and money for making important company documents. Being accustomed with the bank will also help you get information for your future business.

Some advisors charge extra for bank processing. So instead of relying everything on your agent, why not research on your own? You can always inquire in banks and surely they will give you reliable information for free.

Now, you can proceed with incorporation. After choosing a country of choice, you may file an order for incorporation with your agent. Submit the required documents after paying your invoice and receive the company’s credentials by mail. Remember to always asses if they are the right documents as per requested in your order for incorporation.

The important documents may now allow you to open your bank account. These are necessary because you would not be permitted to open an account without submitting your business credentials. Other banks may require a personal interview while others accept applications through mail. After accomplishing these, a bank officer will inform you if your account is ready for use.

Once you have successfully established your company, always remember that it is important to maintain a good reputation.  Do not overlook annual fees and do not forget to submit annual reports for your offshore company. Manage your finances properly to maintain your account active.

We have suggested only a few important reminders for a successful offshore company. It should still be of your choice as to how you would deal with the process. If you have queries or concerns, there are a number of institutions always ready to help you.

Putting up an offshore company not only helps you save from high taxes but it also makes your profits more fluid. Investing in an offshore company protects your assets too. These kinds of companies are organizations or firms incorporated outside your country. In many cases, investors invest in these kinds of businesses because tax laws are much more lenient in other countries where they decide to establish their companies. However, it doesn’t mean that if you have an offshore corporation you are already exempted from paying taxes where the income came from. For more on  International Tax Planning, click here.

Having an offshore company gives you the advantage of being exposed to the international field of business. You may be known worldwide thus being able to trade internationally. It is also a plus if you have a foreign property because it increases your asset protection and privacy.

Usually it is more complicated to establish a corporation in the United States. Opting for offshore companies would protect not only your assets in a better way but also protect you from more future liabilities.

In other countries like Panama, one can create an offshore company under a different name. Being anonymous can help safeguard assets unlike in the U.S which is not possible. Unfortunately, these days having an anonymous bearer share corporation is not anymore encouraged in many countries except in Panama.

Not all countries have the same rules regarding the formation of offshore companies, but summarizing all the benefits, it is way below the budget to form a company- it saves you a lot of investment capital. It is also important to research first the destination of such company and there should be a consultant such as a lawyer before deciding on the establishment of the said business.

A few disadvantages may also come about. Hiring employees that can meet the company’s requirements in the chosen country may be a bit challenging. Also, the restrictions of forming just any type of company must be considered because countries also control what foreign investors establish in their jurisdiction. Another one is the inconvenience of processing your business properties in case you die. Foreign countries have the authority to hold your business thus prolonging the process of releasing your assets to your heirs.

In choosing which country to move your assets to, you must be smart enough to look at the pros and cons. From there, you may already move your business from one country to another. Choosing a country that will allow you to transfer your business to other jurisdictions is important. You just have to process the proper paper works and you will be sure not to lose your incorporation charter.

Always remember that there are a lot of advantages and disadvantages in offshore companies. Do not forget to weigh things first before anything else.